Munich Greeter

On tour with Radio Mikro

Some days ago Radio Mikro*, a radio programme on Bayern 2 especially for children, accompanied us on a tour through the Glockenbach quarter to find out more about what the area between Fraunhofer Straße and Pestalozzistraße has to offer to kids.

Here’s what we found out and what we have visited:

Munich’s  fire brigade museum*  is the biggest in Germany. It was opened to commemorate the 100th anniversary of professional fire fighters, who started working in 1879. Situated in the main fire station, its exhibition comprises around 6.000 pieces, including among others modern and antique extinguishing devices, an air-raid shelter, a pyroscope (an instrument used to measure high temperatures) and the first turntable ladder from 1802. Its opening times are Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., entry is free of charge.
Address: An der Hauptfeuerwache 8

The municipal skyscraper* was the first in Munich with a steel skeleton, the bricks are only decoration. The skyscraper is the last public building in Munich with a paternoster elevator open to the public. Step in and take a ride up to the roof – this is especially exciting for children. The paternoster is only accessible on weekdays because the Urban Planning Department has its offices in the building.
Address: Blumenstr. 28b

The Münchner Marionettentheater*, a puppet theatre, was founded in 1858. Since 1900 its small stage is situated in the heart of the city, not far away from Sendlinger Tor. The theatre performs for children and adults. During the day fairy tales are on show, in the evening operas and operettas – unfortunately only in German.
Address: Blumenstr. 32

Every child in Munich chews on around 1.000 pretzels (in German “Brezen” or „Brezeln“) in its first four years, which makes pretzels a part of Munich’s culture like wheat beer or roast pork.
In the Cafe Alof* the pretzels are still handmade. To produce them fast and properly, the bakers have to learn a special throwing and folding technique. This way it only takes them four minutes to fill a complete baking tray with pretzels.
Address: Hans-Sachs-Str. 12

Pretzels exist since the middle age. Initially they were an important dish during fasting: Their form symbolized two arms crossed for praying (“Breze” originates from the Latin word for “arm”, brachium). Nowadays pretzels can even be bought in the United States – also they differ considerably from the Bavarian original: they are softer, contain more sugar and are said to be eaten with mustard or cheese. Since 1988 there even exists a chain of pretzel fast-food restaurants named Auntie Anne’s.

The Glockenbach quarter owes its name to a small river, the Glockenbach. Neither the Glockenbach nor any of the numerous other rivers diverging from the Isar which have been used as ways of transportation in earlier times can be seen today – they either run underground or simply don’t exist anymore. The only river left still splashing above ground is the Westermühlbach in the Pestalozzistrasse, running parallel to the old southern cemetery.

From 1788 to 1868, for 80 years, the old southern cemetery was the only official place to bury the diseased from the whole urban area. No wonder the list of dead resembles a “who is who” of Munich’s high society in the 19th century. Among others, the following people are buried here:

  • Johann Conrad Develey: the inventor of the sweet mustard traditionally accompanying „Weißwurst“ (white sausages), 1822–1886
  • Carl von Effner: landscape architect in charge of the castles Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof, 1831–1884
  • Justus Freiherr von Liebig: chemist and natural scientist who invented e.g. mineral fertilizer, baby food and baking soda, 1803–1873
  • Friedrich von Gärtner: master builder (classicism), 1792–1847
  • Leo von Klenze: master builder (classicism), 1784–1864

On our tour we stopped at Der Gugl* for the best mini bundt cakes (we Germans call them “Guglhupf) in town.
Address: Müllerstraße 46a

If you want to listen to the German version of the radio report of this Greeter walk, please click here

*link to German web site

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